Kate Herbert is theatre reviewer, Herald Sun, Melbourne & formerly for Melbourne Times. Kate is a director; produced playwright (21 plays). Scripts pub. Currency Press. She worked as actor, comedian, improviser & teacher of Acting, Improvisation & Playwriting. Kate was Head of Drama/Teacher, NMIT; Coordinator of Prof. Writing/ Editing, Swinburne Uni. Read her reviews here or: www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts. NB Explorer Browser doesn't always work on blog.
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
Kate's top shows of 2011, Dec 6, 2011
My 5 top shows of 2011
By Kate Herbert
(Note: This article was published in Herald Sun on Friday, December 16, 2011, in print and online)
MY 5 TOP SHOWS IN 2011 are mostly from other countries or major companies.
Anthony Black’s exceptional, solo performance in Invisible Atom (Canada) is a testament to the power of the actor in this inexorable, poignant, ironic tale about a man’s journey from security toward an inevitable calamity. *****
Aftermath (USA, Melbourne Festival) is delicate, beautiful, painful theatre based on touching interviews with Iraqi refugees that reveal their resilience, grief and simple joys. It is simply staged but boasts subtle, rich performances and unembellished characterisations.
The Scahubuhne production (Berlin, Melbourne Festival) hurls Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, into the 21st century with impeccable, nuanced acting, seamless direction and a stark, contemporary design that conjure a claustrophobic, fraught world of human drama. *****
In the compelling, challenging Howie The Rookie (Red Stitch), Mark O’Rowe’s Irish vernacular lingers between vulgarity, comedy and lyricism, vividly portraying a poverty-stricken, urban landscape, violent, unpredictable, hilarious characters and muscular, with barely-contained physicality and poignant performances. ****1/2
With its dexterous direction and formidable cast, the impressive production of Clybourne Park (MTC), Bruce Norris's insightful, acerbic play about bigotry in Chicago in 1959 and 2009, highlights Norris’s consummate dialogue and plotting and his astute, socio-political observations. ****1/2
I’d like to commend Silent Disco , Meow Meow’s Little Match Girl (Malthouse ) and Liza on an E for their imaginative and energetic productions that all warranted ****1/2.
I also really enjoyed:
Apologia (MTC) ****
Namitjira (Malthouse) ****
I am Playing Me (Butterfly Club) **** Court in the Act (Rod Quantock) **** Smoke and Mirrors (IOTA-Spiegeltent) ****
Next read my rant about what I want in the theatre in Melbourne in 2012 - and beyond....